Tag Archives: Garlic

Healthy Heart

Healthy HeartJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Even the healthiest among us realize that cardio-metabolic wellness is a top concern with aging. Cardiovascular fitness requires a multifactorial approach that includes a healthy diet and lifestyle. Conventional medicine often includes commonly prescribed life-long medications to treat or improve symptoms of cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure, inadequate blood flow, chest pain and abnormal heart beat. Anticoagulants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, diuretics, vasodilators, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors will often produce desired results, frequently accompanied by side effects. As well, consumers are reaching out for clinically validated, high quality nutritional supplements to complement a holistic approach to cardiac wellness and long-term overall health.

A hard working muscle, the heart is tasked with pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood through the circulatory system to all areas of the body. As such, heart health depends upon a strong network of blood vessels. Factors that contribute to a high risk of cardiovascular disease include smoking, obesity, chronic stress, sedentary lifestyle and inadequate nutrition. Conditions associated with cardiovascular disease include: atherosclerosis, a condition in which cholesterol-rich plaque builds up along arterial walls; insulin resistance, which plays a role in regulating inflammation and is a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes; high homocysteine levels, which can contribute to plaque formation and arterial wall damage; and angina pectoris, chest pain that can occur when there is a dramatic decrease of blood flow to the heart.

In addition to a healthy lifestyle, clinically validated supplements can support healthy heart and overall function.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is regarded as one of the most important nutrients for cardiovascular disease prevention. Health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes have been linked to low levels of CoQ10. Naturally produced by the body, CoQ10 aids the mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses involved in energy production that supports optimal overall and healthy muscle functioning. A powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 helps to prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, as well as free radical cellular damage. With aging, the body’s production of this important compound declines. In studies, CoQ10, or its reduced form ubiquinol, may improve heart function, increase energy production and limit oxidative damage. CoQ10 may also increase insulin sensitivity, regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids: Fatty fish and fish oil supplements have proven to be an effective preventive strategy against heart disease. Science supports omega-3 intake to help maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Omega-3’s are healthy fats that may minimize inflammation, lower triglyceride levels, increase good HDL cholesterol and support blood vessel health.

B-complex vitamins: High levels of homocysteine are linked to early development of heart disease and arterial damage. Homocysteine is an amino acid that results from the breakdown of dietary protein. High homocysteine is linked to inadequate intake of vitamins B6 and B12, cofactors in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, necessary for cellular reactions. Stress can also increase the need for B6 and B12.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): Manufactured by the body, ALA is sometimes referred to as the “universal antioxidant,” as it is both water and fat soluble. Found naturally in every cell, ALA affects every organ, including the heart. ALA converts glucose into the energy needed for bodily functions and may improve blood sugar control, as well as cellular insulin response. As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it may prevent DNA damage, as well as protect against oxidation of LDL cholesterol, plaque build-up and atherosclerosis.

Garlic: Used traditionally for centuries, modern science has confirmed beneficial health effects associated garlic. Highly nutritious, garlic may improve blood pressure and reduce total and LDL cholesterol, risk factors for heart disease. Its antioxidant properties help protect against cellular damage, a common cause of chronic disease. For those concerned about garlic’s pungent odor, garlic intake may be easily increased with odorless garlic supplements.

Magnesium: A natural calming nutrient, magnesium dilates the arteries, potentially lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. It serves as a cofactor for hundreds of enzymatic processes and is considered essential for proper cardiovascular function. Magnesium aids healthy sleep, which can help reduce stress, and supports healthy blood sugar levels, a major concern of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Inadequate magnesium intake is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmias.

Ideally, cardio-metabolic wellness begins with a lifelong journey of healthy choices and an active lifestyle. For those in mid-life who are not physically fit, it’s not too late to improve future health and reverse the beginnings of heart damage, as becoming physically active has a high impact on heart health. A recent study published in the journal, Circulation, involving individual in their early 50s, found that high and moderate intensity exercise four to five times each week improved heart elasticity, as well as oxygen uptake. Regular exercise can help to lower blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and maintain weight, all contributing factors for a healthy heart.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of cardiac and overall wellness:

CoQ10 100 mgCoQ10 100 mg by Professional Supplement Center®: ON SALE Each serving provides 100 mg of highly bioavailable CoQ10 as ubiquinone in support of cardiovascular, periodontal, immune and liver health. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid...Alpha Lipoic Acid 200 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Alpha Lipoic Acid helps maintain healthy glucose metabolism, supports the nervous system and provides nutritional support for metabolic processes. Gluten free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic vegan formulation.

Garlic 6000Garlic 6000 by Vital Nutrients: These enteric coated garlic caplets support the maintenance of  healthy cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as help sustain cholesterol levels already within the normal range. Gluten, dairy, soy, egg and sugar free formulation.

 

Chelated MagnesiumChelated Magnesium by Douglas Laboratories®: Each tablet provides 100 mg of elemental magnesium as magnesium amino acid chelate in support of cardiac health and skeletal muscle physiology. Yeast, wheat, gluten, soy protein, milk/dairy, corn, sodium, sugar, starch and  artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

Omega Pro-DOmega Pro-D by Professional Supplement Center®:  ON SALE Omega Pro-D provides 1000 IU of highly bioavailable vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol blended with pure, wild-sourced, molecularly distilled omega-3 essential fatty acids in support of immune and neurological function, as well as cardiovascular, joint and skin health. Gluten free and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
Out of shape and middle-aged? It’s not too late to turn it around. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/09/27/out-of-shape-and-middle-aged-its-not-too-late-to-turn-it-around
Cardiac Medications. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/treatment-of-a-heart-attack/cardiac-medications
9 Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coenzyme-q10
Magnesium for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. https://openheart.bmj.com/content/5/2/e000775
You Can Prevent Hardening of the Arteries. https://www.consumerreports.org/heart-disease/prevent-hardening-of-arteries/

 

Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Liver Function

HealthyLiverJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

It’s common knowledge that everything we eat and drink moves through the digestive system. But did you know that everything we ingest, including nutrients, medications, and toxic substances, must be processed by the liver before anything can be utilized, altered, stored, detoxified, or eliminated by the body? A healthy diet and lifestyle helps to support this hard working, often underrated, but vitally important organ that plays a central role in metabolic homeostasis. Second only to the brain in its list of essential bodily functions, the liver is the lone organ that can regenerate and return to normal function if damaged or partially removed.

Each organ plays a role in maintaining homeostasis, or a balanced, at-rest state of the body. While the body’s detoxification system includes the lungs, the skin, the digestive system and the kidneys, the liver is the body’s major detoxification center. In addition to the chemicals we inhale, apply to our bodies, or ingest; the liver must filter bio-toxic metabolites, or waste by-products, produced by the body throughout every metabolic pathway.

Extremely important to energy production, the liver is tasked with carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, transforming amino acids from proteins, producing bile for fat digestion and absorption, and releasing a steady flow of glucose from carbohydrates. Liver cells regulate blood glucose concentrations within a narrow, normal range. As an indispensable fuel for all cells and organs, a constant and steady supply of glucose must be maintained; while at the same time, health damaging elevated glucose levels must be controlled. As blood sugar levels fall, the liver releases newly synthesized or stored glucose. Working in tandem with insulin, when blood sugar is high, the liver converts and stores glucose to be utilized as needed.

The liver is known to perform hundreds of crucial functions, including the synthesis of cholesterol, phospholipids, non-essential amino acids, and blood plasma proteins, as well as immune and clotting factors. It regulates blood clotting and blood levels of amino acids; processes hemoglobin and stores iron; and converts ammonia, a byproduct of protein metabolism, to urea for excretion; all the while cleansing the blood of toxic substances and byproducts.

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, diabetes, and excessive alcohol consumption are high risk factors for developing liver disease. Since it is always preferable to prevent rather than treat disease, it makes good sense to take steps that support liver health.

The American Liver Foundation recommends:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight to avoid the accumulation of liver fat that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Eating a well balance diet, high in fiber, low in refined carbs and sugar, and moderate in good fats from fish, nuts and seeds.
  • Exercising regularly to burn triglycerides for fuel and reduce liver fat.
  • Using alcohol responsibly to avoid damage to liver cells.
  • Carefully following medication directions, including the use of over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers, that have been shown to be detrimental to liver health when used indiscriminately.
  • Practicing safe sex to reduce the risk of contracting hepatitis B and C.
  • Avoiding toxic chemicals found in household products, insecticides and personal hygiene products.

Foods and supplements that provide nutritional support for liver health and function include the following:

Garlic supplies allicin and selenium, powerful nutrients that aid the detoxication process.

Green tea contains catechins, antioxidants from plants that promote proper liver function and protect against toxin and liver fat accumulation.

Dark leafy greens contain cleansing compounds that help to neutralize pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals.

Avocado is rich in glutathione-producing compounds that actively promote liver health and boost its cleansing powers.

Walnuts are rich in healthy fats, l-arginine, and glutathione, which aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia.

Turmeric provides curcuminoids, powerful anti-inflammatory compounds; and helps to maintain a healthy liver by boosting bile and enzyme production, protecting against toxic damage, and improving overall function.

NAC or N-acetylcysteine is tapped to synthesize glutathione, a powerful antioxidant utilized throughout the body.

Alpha lipoic acid has been shown to have hepatic-protective benefits.

Silymarin has been used traditionally for centuries as a natural treatment for liver health and is commonly known as milk thistle.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality formulations in support of healthy liver function and overall health:

NAC 600 mgNAC by Integrative Therapeutics®: This well absorbed formula provides 600 mg of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine per serving in support of antioxidant protection and glutathione production. Free of gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, yeast, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.

 

Garlic ForceGarlic Force™ by New Chapter: This pure and potent garlic extract with complementary herbs delivers beneficial whole food nutrients in support of free radical protection and cardiovascular health. Naturally gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Curcumin 500 with...Curcumin 500 with Bioperine® by Pure Encapsulations®: Formulated to support the body’s natural inflammatory response and promote healthy liver, colon, musculoskeletal and cellular function, this product supplies turmeric, standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids, and Bioperine ®, a black pepper extract that enhances bioavailability and absorption. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Alpha Lipoic Acid...Alpha Lipoic Acid by 200 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: This multi-functional and versatile nutrient offers free radical protection, and provides support for nerve health, cardiovascualar function, and glucose metabolism. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Silymarin / Milk...Silymarin/Milk Thistle Extract by Douglas Laboratories: The natural protective and regenerative properties of silymarin have been shown to support and enhance normal liver function, as well as the repair and replacement of damaged cells. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, dairy and artificial ingredients.

References:
The role of the liver in metabolic homeostasis: implications for inborn errors of metabolism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1749209
Anatomy and Function of the Human Liver. http://www.innerbody.com/image_digeov/card10-new2.html
Liver: Anatomy and Functions. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/liver_biliary_and_pancreatic_disorders/liver_anatomy_and_functions_85,P00676/
How does the liver work? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072577/
Metabolic Functions of the Liver. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/liver/metabolic.html
The Liver Lowdown. http://www.liverfoundation.org/education/liverlowdown/ll1013/13ways/
Quantifying the Contribution of the Liver to Glucose Homeostasis. http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002577

 

Flu Season – It’s Not Over Yet!

FluNotOverJacquie Eubanks RN BSNAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly flu report, flu activity remains elevated with 36 states reporting widespread influenza activity, mainly in the southern and southeastern states. While overall activity is declining, we are clearly not out of the woods, and can expect to see several more weeks of seasonal flu activity. Influenza, a highly contagious viral respiratory illness, causes mild to severe symptoms and can result in complications for young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Largely an airborne virus, the flu easily spreads from one person to another through droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or talking. Flu viruses can survive on hands for up to an hour, and can remain active on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours, potentially transferring the virus through touch.

Those with the flu are infectious 24 hours before their own symptoms develop, and up to a week after symptoms appear. Unlike a cold, the flu comes on suddenly and tends to linger longer. Symptoms are often more severe than a typical cold and can include a runny nose, sore throat and dry cough, as well as fever, fatigue, headache, chills, and body aches. Surprisingly, the body’s immune defense system is responsible for some of the symptoms. A fever, for example, is the immune system’s way of making the body a less favorable host for bacteria and viruses, which thrive at 98.6° F. Although not everyone will feel feverish, the influenza virus causes a general feeling of exhaustion and malaise, that often requires bedrest.

You can help stop the spread of the flu by avoiding unnecessary contact with others when you are ill, completely covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, getting plenty of rest, and staying warm and well hydrated. To help prevent the flu, avoid close contact with someone who is sick, wash your hands frequently, disinfect surfaces regularly and refrain from touching your face, eyes, and mouth. Be sure to support immune and overall health by getting sufficient sleep, eating nutritiously and participating in physical activity. General healthy-living strategies help to naturally strengthen the immune system, while supporting optimal health and overall function.

Over the counter remedies can temporarily suppress symptoms, but may actually impede healing. While annoying, coughing is a productive symptom that helps clear breathing passages. Decongestants restrict flow to blood vessels in the nose and throat, but allowing the blood to flow helps to warm the infected area, enabling secretions to carry away germs. Although symptoms of fever, stuffy nose and coughing are sometimes hard to endure, they are part of the natural healing process, evidence that the immune system is battling the virus. Natural remedies that support the immune system are often helpful either for the prevention of influenza or the recovery from it.

Oscillococcinum® – Though hard to pronounce, this homeopathic taken at the first sign of illness has been shown in clinical trials to help reduce the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms, including body aches, fever, chills, headache and fatigue. As flu comes on quickly, and Oscillo works best when taken early, it’s helpful to keep this on hand to take as quickly as possible when symptoms begin to appear.

Echinacea – This popular medicinal plant has been used for more than 400 years to treat infections and wounds. Laboratory studies suggest that echinacea contains active antiviral and antioxidant substances that support and stimulate the immune system to help fight viruses, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.

Elderberry – Used for centuries to treat respiratory illnesses and heal wounds, evidence suggests that elderberry has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-influenza properties. High in flavonols, elderberry may help to reduce sinus mucous membrane inflammation and relieve nasal congestion.

Garlic – Supported by modern science and known since ancient times for its therapeutic properties, garlic has been shown to be beneficial for respiratory, circulatory, cardiac, and immune health. Consumed regularly, garlic may aid in the prevention of the common cold or may expedite the recovery process.

Oregano Oil – Very high in antioxidants, oregano oil has been shown to combat certain strains of bacteria and microorganisms, and prevent them from proliferating. Oregano oil has been used traditionally for centuries as a natural remedy to treat symptoms of respiratory illness, including coughs, colds, and sore throats. Effective as a natural infection fighter, oregano oil has strong antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

NAC – N-acetyl-L-cysteine, an amino acid derivative with mucous thinning properties, has been used in conventional medicine for over three decades. NAC has been shown to reduce both the severity and the duration of the flu by supporting the production and activity of white blood cells, helping to boost the body’s natural immune response.

Vitamin D3 – Research indicates that vitamin D3 taken prophylactically is effective in prevention of common upper respiratory infections, including colds and flu. Vitamin D3 supports the immune system by reducing levels of inflammatory proteins, and increasing levels of antimicrobial proteins, naturally occurring antibiotics that destroy invading pathogens and viruses. Studies show that those with lower levels of vitamin D3 are more likely to develop influenza when compared to those with high levels of vitamin D3.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products to support immune and overall heath:

Oscillococcinum®Oscillococcinum® by Boiron: These highly effective homeopathic pellets work with your body to reduce the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms, including body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue. Non-drowsy formula. Children’s formula also available.

 

ACF Fast Relief...ACF Fast Relief Immune Support High Potency by Buried Treasure Nutritionals: This high potency, fast acting liquid immune support formula provides high quality botanicals and nutrients for cold and flu symptom relief. This naturally preserved formulation is gluten, wheat, yeast and dairy free.

 

NAC 600 mgNAC 600 mg by Pure Encapsulations: NAC provides powerful cellular nutritional support, specifically supporting healthy lung function though its mucolytic activity. In addition to its antioxidant properties, NAC supports glutathione production, ramping up antioxidant protection. Gluten-free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

A.D.P.A.D.P.® by Biotics Research: This patented, proven effective formula supplies delayed release standardized oregano oil delivered to the intestinal tract to defend against pathogens and bacteria. Gluten free formulation.

 

Vitamin D 5,000 IU ...Vitamin D 5000 IU by Douglas Laboratories: This product supplies 5000 IU of highly bioavailable natural vitamin D3 in support of overall health. Gluten, wheat, soy, yeast and dairy free vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
Flu. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Here’s why you feel so crummy when you’re sick. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Why Do We Get Chills With a Fever? http://www.everydayhealth.com/cold-and-flu/why-do-we-get-chills-with-a-fever.aspx
Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm
Echinacea. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/echinacea
Elderberry. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/elderberry
Garlic. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/garlic
11 Best Home Remedies for Flu: Treatments Backed by Scientific Studies. http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/eyes-ears-nose-throat/5-best-home-remedies-for-flu-treatment-backed-by-scientific-studies/
Vitamin D for influenza. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4463890/